Top Ten Tuesday: Spooky Season

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

October 25: Halloween related freebie

Some people llloooovvveeee this time of year.  The crisp nights, pumpkin everything, the decorations, spooky stories, trick or treating (candy).  Frankly I can take it or leave it.  I enjoy some of the bats, vamps, and pumpkin flavored goodies.  Scary stories in print or on-screen, however, are not my cup or tea.  I don’t like blood and guts or being scared.  I don’t do situations I can’t control.  So for this week’s list I am going to pick some of the spooky, maybe not scary, stories that still fit into the spirit of the Halloween season.

Ten books for the Halloween Season

  1. Ruined (Ruined, #1)  A good ol’ Ghost story is up first.  This one is set in New Orleans and is a YA read.  It covers the basis if you are looking for this type of spooky story.
  2. Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries, #1) How about a zombie tale.  This one is another YA level read and is one of the very few zombie stories I have read, not really a fan of the whole theme…  This one is good though, give it a shot.
  3. Dracula How about a classic scary story for a change.  Vampires are classic Halloween monsters and this is the book that started it all.
  4. Cycle of the Werewolf Another classic monster for this time of year, the Werewolf.  Also what kind of list would this be without something from the master of scary stories the King himself.
  5. The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus Looking for something seriously scary and real?  Then I highly recommend this one about the true story of how the Ebola virus started. Truly frightening.
  6. A Dirty Job (Grim Reaper, #1) This was a fun listen about grim reapers.  More funny than scary but still fitting for the season.
  7. The Grownup This was a short little read that was pretty creepy and left you wondering.  Perfect if you don’t want to commit yourself to a longer read.
  8. The Passage (The Passage, #1) Like this one…  If you are sick and tired of the hunky sexy vampire trend then give this one a try.  The vamps in this book are the true monsters of old.
  9. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) The vampire central to this story however is all kinds of yummy, however.  Quite a bit of this story centers around this time of year and perfect if you are looking for a witchy tale.
  10. California Going to finish the book with a post-apocalyptic dystopian that is a frightening glimpse of what might become of our society if we don’t change things and start taking care of those who are struggling in this country.

Monday Morning Check-In: What a crappy week…

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday morning everyone. Please prepare yourself for some serious complaining, if you feel the need to skip this post be my guest I wouldn’t want to read what I’m about to type either.  That being said I also want to get it off my chest because I do believe it helps.  Alright, lets begin.

It all started last Monday when I was cleaning the house in prep for the people coming to pick up the kittens.  We live on well water and that means hard water that leaves mineral deposits in our sinks.  I decided it was time to take the current level of scum off the bathroom sink and in the process broke the tap.  Didn’t notice it until after I had already flooded the first floor and basement though.  Called the plumber and he came out after hearing the level of panic in my voice.  While he was replacing the fixture I was trying to clean up everything and in the process our kitchen light fixture came down.  Only light we had in the room, so we have been living with lamps until we could pick up a new ceiling fan this weekend.  Need to call them and have them come out and install the new electrical box to mount the light hopefully sometime this week.  This means the ceiling will need to be cut into.  Only plus that came from this is I now have a tap that doesn’t drip and a light I don’t hate with a working fan.  That was my Monday.

The rest of the week was pretty quiet besides DNF a ton of books and not being able to figure out what I was in the mood to read.  I found something right before the weekend in time for crisis number two to hit. Or rather hit my husband.  Saturday night he was rear ended at a stop sign on his way home from work.  He is alright and was able to drive car home but we just didn’t need this.  Hopefully his car checks out today and he can still drive it but he is already talking about getting a new used car.  I really don’t want to car loans, but I agree it might be time.

I’m trying to not worry about everything but so far am failing miserably.  I just want a couple of uneventful months to catch my breath.  I also need to learn how to not worry because I am making myself sick. It is wasted energy but I can’t seem to help myself.  I worry about everything.  Anyway, I need to get going.  Taking a friend to the doctor today and I need to get dressed.  Here is to an uneventful boring week.  Happy reading.  (thanks for letting me vent)

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Book Review


Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Book Series: Mercy Thompson #9

Released: 3/8/16 by Ace

Pages: 342 Price: $27.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book.



Book Synopsis:

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.
Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

My Review:

Warning: prepare yourself for an unpopular opinion…remember though it is simply my opinion.

I finally finished the damn book.  Took me an entire month to read this one.  I am shocked at what a struggle this book was.  I didn’t want to even finish the blasted thing.  The only reason I pushed myself to was that I actually like the author and the series.  I do plan to continue with book 10 &  11, but man this book sucked for me. I plan to be harsher than normal because I feel that I earned it.  I mean no disrespect to the author or those that actually enjoyed the book, but after a month of wrestling with this book I feel the need to whine a bit.

The opening scene was the only part that worked for me, I sailed through that pretty easily after they left the business with the bridge things quickly went down hill for me.  Too much politics, too much sitting around tables talking/negotiating, too many far too easy solutions to problems, and little chemistry between the two love interests.  In fact there is little to no romance in this series anymore so I am going to quite classifying it under that genre.  Adam and Mercy are great together but I swear my marriage has more spark than theirs.  I get it, you don’t want to write sex scenes but there needs to be something between these two otherwise why keep them together.  I need to see more of the connection between them to make their relationship plausible, and not the junior high jokes about nudging either. This book was simply boring.  I could not get excited about the story or the characters or the danger they were facing.  I was bored and didn’t want to read it.

This used to be such an interesting series for me.  I just don’t know what went wrong.  Perhaps I need more pack drama and less fae drama.  More vampires, missed them except for this one scene that could have probably been cut completely and not hurt the story at all. I am looking forward to the next book as the vamps will have a more central role but if I leave that one feeling how I do now… it might just mean it is time to break up with this series.  I’m holding out hope that this book is just a fluke for me.  Fingers crossed the next one is better.

My Rating: 2 Stars

The Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman

Book Review


The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You KnewBook Genre: Non-Fiction, Science, Audio Book

Book Series: N/A

Released: 1/14/14 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Pages:157  Price: $13.35 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I actually own this book, but I ended up listening to the audio book from my library.

Book Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of Einstein’s Dreams and Mr g, a meditation on the unexpected ways in which recent scientific findings have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our place in the cosmos.

With all the passion, curiosity, and precise yet lyrical prose that have marked his previous books, Alan Lightman here explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind. He looks at the difficult dialogue between science and religion; the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature; the possibility that our universe is simply an accident; the manner in which modern technology has separated us from direct experience of the world; and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws. And behind all of these considerations is the suggestion—at once haunting and exhilarating—that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole.

My Review:

I tried to read this little book a while back but just couldn’t get into it.  While I am interested in the topics this book discusses I am not that bright when it comes to science and math.  Much of it was a struggle to understand.  Simply put it was too much work…  I’ve been enjoying listening to non-fiction audio books recently, especially those with a science leaning, so when I saw this one was available and not that long I decided to listen rather than read this book.  So. much. easier.

This isn’t a very long book and is a collection of essays really on philosophy and physics.  Much of the science still went over my head but I did appreciate the philosophical discussion related to the advances in technology and knowledge.  I know I just finished listening to it so the chapter is freshest in my mind, but I enjoyed the last chapter the best which delved into how technology is changing the way we interact with not only each other but the world around us.  The idea of the virtual world not so slowly replacing the importance of the real world was fascinating and most likely true.

I’m glad I made it through this one, even if I had to listen to it.  The book provided a lot of food for thought and would be another great book to listen to with someone who you could debate the topics further with.  If this one crosses your path why not give it a listen too.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Monday Morning Check-In: Face the facts…

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday morning everyone!  Well I thought it was me.  I thought it was all the recent crap and sadness in my life preventing me from finishing this book.  This last week though I have started to feel better, feel more like my old self and life has started to return to normal.  So it is time to face the facts and admit that I am just not that into what I am currently reading.  It sucks.  Normally I would just DNF the title and move on but the book I am currently about 70 pages from finishing is by an author I enjoy, in a series I plan to continue.  I just need to suck it up and finish the damn thing and write my unpopular opinion review and move on.  Not today though. Today I have chores and two of the kittens go to new homes tonight so that means I need to get the public rooms in this house to a state where I am not embarrassed to have people see them.  So after I clean if I still have time I will sit down and finish the read.  Just don’t wanna…  Have a great week everyone.

The Illustrated Book of Sayings by Ella Frances Sanders

Book Review


Book Genre: Non-Fiction, Coffee Table Book, Art

Book Series: NA

Released: 9/13/16 by Ten Speed Press

Pages:162   Price: $14.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s SiteMore InfoAuthor Bio

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program.

Book Synopsis:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller, Lost in Translation, come this collection of 52 artistic renderings of sayings from around the world that illuminate the whimsical nature of language.

Ella Frances Sanders’s first book, Lost in Translation, captured the imagination of readers with its charmingly illustrated words that have no direct English translation. Now, the New York Times-bestselling author is back with an illustrated collection that addresses the nuances of language in the form of sayings from around the world. From the French idiom “to pedal in the sauerkraut,” (i.e., “to spin your wheels,”) to the Japanese idiom “even monkeys fall from trees” (meaning, “even experts can be wrong”), Sanders presents sayings that reveal the remarkable diversity, humor, and poignancy of the world’s languages and cultures.

My Review:

What an interesting little book!  I was hesitant to request this title as I wasn’t exactly sure what it was all about.  I took a chance because it was the only book they offered for review that peaked my interest and I so happy to have received this title.  Sometimes it is worth taking a chance, sometimes it pays off!

I thought it was going to just be a coffee table book of sayings, idioms from around the world with some illustration.  To be honest I was expecting something kinda boring… sorry.  I thought my husband might find it interesting and I could pass it on to him after I read it.  I still plan to let him read it but this little gem is staying in my library.  What I didn’t realize was that the author went into detail about the history of each idiom and gave us some of the history or quirkiness associated with each phrase.  That is what made this book for me, totally.  It also didn’t hurt that two of the sayings I enjoyed the most were Bulgarian (where my husband is from) and Turkish (what my husband is: Bulgarian Turk).  Those two pages I quizzed him and covered the translation and made him read the sayings in their original language.  Pleased to report each one was translated correctly and he was delighted to see a part of his heritage in the book.  A couple other of my favorites were from Japan and India (Hindi).

This is such a delightful little book it would make a great gift to someone you might know that travels the world or simply wishes to travel. A linguist or philosopher would also find this book delightful as well.  Perfect for a college grad too.  The price isn’t too high, would love to see it around $10, but for the quality of the binding and being hardcover $15 isn’t unreasonable.  I really can’t find any fault in this book and plan to check out the other title by this author.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

October 11:  All About Books You Read Because of Recommendation

This was a tough list for several reasons. 1) I’m bad about reading other blogs (sorry), 2) I tend to find most of my reads from Net Galley or thrift shopping (on my own) 3) most of the recommendations I get through the library from patrons I don’t read because my reading taste don’t fit the community I live in 4) I’m really bad at remembering who recommended what and why.  I did manage to come up with ten but it was definitely a squeaker.

Ten books that were recommended to me.

  1. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) This book and series is the only book I am 100% certain about who recommended it to me.  My friend Keely recommended it to me while at work, she is also a patron.  I read it and was hooked.  So thanks Keely!
  2. Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1) I added this one to my to-read shelf a while back, didn’t get read until I posted a recommend my next read on Instagram and several friend told me to read this author next.  So I am going to count it.  Thanks everyone the series is great.  I hope to return to it soon now that my mood is picking up.
  3. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) This is one of the few recommendations that I know came from reading other people’s top ten lists and blogs.  Sometimes the poll of public opinion is totally spot on.  Thanks to all my fellow bloggers out there!
  4. The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1) This is the second book on this list that I found through my fellow bloggers.  I would have never come across it otherwise and just goes to show what we do is important to helping get word out about great books.
  5. Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood, #1) This book I found through work, not a patron but a class that was essentially a book talk for YA lit for youth librarians.  It was quite good and I did read the next book which I enjoyed even more.  I wish the author hadn’t stopped there but it looks like there might not be anymore.
  6. Impossible (Impossible, #1) This book was also recommended in the same class and was a bit darker dealing with heavy topics like rape and mental illness.
  7. The Alchemist This is the only book on this list that came from a recommendation from my husband who has vastly different reading taste from myself.  The reason I read it was that it was so short I could read the ILL book on my lunch break.  Still I did like it and if my husband ever reads fiction again I might take a look at what he is interested in.
  8. The Passage (The Passage, #1) This was another book I found through work.  We get the Book Talk magazine for our patrons and each month we go through it looking for titles to add to our library.  This was the cover one month and when I read the synopsis and discovered it was a book featuring vampires and a girl named Amy from Iowa who saves the world… How could I not read it?
  9. Mr G: A Novel About The Creation This one was another find in the Book Talk magazine at work.  Another short read that was so original.
  10. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) This book was a recommendation from several people and different blogs.  I can’t remember exactly but I know someone told me to read this book.

All right not a lot of details this week, getting older sucks…  Or it might be the fact that I read too many similar books to remember how all of them cross my path. Some great titles up there I hope you give some of them a look.

The Draco Tavern by Larry Niven

Book Review


The Draco TavernBook Genre:Science Fiction, Short Stories, Audio Book

Book Series:N/A

Released: 11/1/2006 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Pages: 304  Price:$22.99 Audio

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audio book from my library



Book Synopsis:

When a tremendous spacecraft took orbit around Earth’s moon and began sending smaller landers down toward the North Pole, the newly arrived visitors quickly set up a permanent spaceport in Siberia. Their presence attracted many, and a few grew conspicuously rich from secrets they learned from talking to the aliens. One of these men, Rick Schumann, established a tavern catering to all the various species of visiting aliens, a place he named the Draco Tavern. From the mind of best-selling author Larry Niven come twenty-seven tales and vignettes from this interplanetary gathering place, collected for the first time in one volume. Join Rick and his staff as they chronicle the seemingly infinite alien species that spend a few moments pondering life and all its questions within the Draco Tavern.

My Review:

I have been in a science fiction and science fact mood audio book wise lately.  Mainly because I’m not in the mood for sex scenes and I feel like with the NF ones if I don’t pay attention for a chapter it isn’t the end of the world.  This one was quite good and I would like to now try the Ringworld series by him.

This book was a series of short stories set in the same location and were chronological I believe so the world built with each chapter.  The interactions with all the aliens were quite fun and intriguing.  With aliens it is always such fun to imagine different species that have evolved different from ourselves.  The stories in this book had a very Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy feel, but just a tad more serious or rather less wacky.  I loved the idea of a bar on Earth where races from all over the galaxy come to interact.  Imagine what kind of thing you would see, learn and experience.

The narrator was well-selected and had a pleasing voice that fit the main character.  Each chapter was a stand alone story but they all blended nicely.  It was a great listen and if you are looking for a science fiction audio book that’s not part of a series and only about 6 hours long this one is a good pick.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Monday Morning Check-In: Being a bum.

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday everyone, sorry this is late but as you might have guessed from the title I’m being a bum today.  Hubby interrupted my Monday routine and it seems to have squashed any motivation I had.  I did manage to get the laundry on the line and cooked enough food to feed us for a week but I’ve not picked up a book or gotten around to blogging until almost 2 p.m.  I’ve played with kittens, bitched about the crappy election year on social media, watched YouTube and ran to the mail a package at the closed post office…

On the reading front I am getting better.  I did manage to make it just over 100 pages in my book and I have been listening to an audio book at work.  After this post I plan to turn off the computer and hopefully finish my current read.  Finger’s crossed but maybe life is starting to return to normal. I have a couple of review books that I need to read as well and I will probably work on tomorrow’s Top Ten Tuesday while watching Big Bang and Lucifer tonight.  I also need to trim my nails in the worst way.  Typing is a real pain in the ass with these things.  As painful as it might be I just can’t function with long fingernails no matter how proud of them I might be.  Damn it.  Well have a great week everyone I hope to have a new review for you all soon.

Legal Wolf’s Mate by Eve Langlais

Book Review


Legal Wolf's MateBook Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Novella

Book Series: None listed

Released: 10/4/16 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 104 Price: $2.99 eBook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.


Book Synopsis:

Part of the “Growl” anthology (Also available as a single)

In Legal Wolf’s Mate, taking on a pro bono murder case isn’t a problem for a lawyer who enjoys a challenge. Discovering that his new client is his mate? A tad more complicated. Gavin has no intention of settling down, especially not with a woman accused of murder, but once he sets eyes on Megan, his fate is sealed.

My Review:

This book started off quite well, it hooked me fast and I thought I would zip right through this 100 page novella.  Then about half-way through there is a major plot twist that just left me unimpressed.  It is like the two halves of the book were written by two different people.  I was felt lost and wanted to return to the characters I fell for in the beginning.  It was almost as if the characters had personality transplants…  It isn’t that I disliked their personalities in either half, but the total shift in tone just threw me for a loop and I struggled to finish this book.

The chemistry between the love interests was strong in the first half, but in the second half felt a tad strained.  I also did not care for her family who I found a bit annoying. One supporting character I did love was the feline shifter friend.  He was a hoot and I would totally be on board for reading his story someday.

It wasn’t a bad book, just didn’t completely work for me.  The only reason I finished it was that it was so short, if it had been longer I would have probably put it down after the plot twist.  If you like steamy shifter paranormal romance and want something that has a plot twist to it then this is a great one for you to try.  I did enjoy the first half quite a bit so I am going to try one of this author’s titles to see if that one is more my style.

My Rating: 2 Stars